A student died after eating leftover pasta that had been left on his kitchen benchtop for five days.
The 20-year-old from the Brussels in Belgium became sick after eating leftover spaghetti with tomato sauce which had been prepared five days earlier and stored at room temperature.
After becoming violently ill, he went to bed to try and sleep the sickness off, only to be found dead in bed the next morning by his devastated parents.
An autopsy later revealed he’d died suddenly from food poisoning caused by a bacteria called bacillus cereus.
According to the Food Standards Authority, bacillus cereus is a spore forming bacteria that produces toxins, causing cause vomiting and diarrhoea.
While the student — known only as AJ — experienced both these symptoms, he treated his them as a regular bout of food poisoning, drinking plenty of water and taking no medication.
However, the toxins from the bacteria caused his liver to go into failure, killing him as he slept.
The shock incident happened back in October 2008 after the man came home from school.
He warmed the spaghetti in the microwave before heading out to play sports, but ended up coming home half an hour later suffering from headaches, abdominal pain, and nausea.
He threw up for several hours and went to the bathroom twice only to fall asleep around midnight.
His lifeless body was discovered 11 hours later by his “worried” parents who were concerned because he didn’t get up for college.
The shocking story has been featured by Dr Bernard, a licenced practitioner who studies and shares bizarre medical cases from around the world on his YouTube channel.
Dr Bernard analysed the case, which originally featured in the US Journal of Clinical Microbiology, along with several others in a dramatised re-enactment, explaining the harmful bacteria caused AJ’s liver to shut down.
Samples of spoiled pasta and tomato sauce samples were also analysed, with the National Reference Laboratory for Food-borne Outbreak confirming the spaghetti was contaminated with “significant amounts” of the B.cereus — while it was absent in the sauce.
“AJ is an otherwise healthy 20-year-old man,” he explains in the video, adding the story was not a “typical” food poisoning case.
“Many people eat pasta, or any other form of noodles, that are leftover for a day or two and they’re fine,” he said.
“Be careful of food left out for more than a few hours. If the food smells funny, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.”
Since the video was shared last week, it has received hundreds of comments from shocked viewers.
“That was kinda dumb but not really something you expect to kill you a day later,” one person wrote on Reddit.
“I don’t know why anyone would leave perishable food in the kitchen for 5 days and think it’s okay to still eat it,” another added.